The “wheel pose” comes from the word “cak” means to move, and also the root origin of the word “Chakra“. Wheel pose is also called upward facing bow (chakrasana or urdhva-dhanurasana).
The word “urdhva” means elevated or upright and “dhanur” means bow. This particular yoga pose is considered more challenging than other poses. However, don’t be disappointed if you can’t do it during the first try. In fact, even by just trying to achieve this pose can already have benefits including its “bridge” variation.
Probably, the foremost benefit a wheel pose can do to you is developed strength and restore flexibility of the spine. It helps strengthens the shoulders and arms, upper back, and stimulate the cardiovascular system. In other words, wheel pose provides an overall toning of the body.
Over time, as the flexibility of the spine is restored, it becomes easier to perfect the wheel pose resulting to reaping the real benefits it provides.
To get started, watch the demo on how to do it correctly along with other poses prior to performing the wheel pose as a preparation in order to make the target pose easier. The duration can either be held during inhaled breath or hold it for 1 to 3 minutes with gentle breathing through the nostrils. Repeat the pose 2 to 3 times.
A much easier variation of the wheel pose is the bridge variation. And, although it’s easier than the full wheel pose variation, don’t underestimate it as it shares several benefits as the full wheel pose particularly the stretching of the spine and relieving the tightness of the shoulders and upper back area.
In order to reap the full benefit of the bridge variation, make sure to continuously raise the back upward making a maximum arch of the spine possible.
Hold the bridge variation along with slow breathing through the nostrils. If doing the bridge variation feels no discomfort in the shoulders and spine, it’s a good indication to move forward and perform the wheel pose.
Note that, both variations can help promote flexibility of the spine and strengthen the shoulders and back. If you’re someone who is continuously experiencing stress due to work, poor posture, inactive lifestyle, and even emotional upheaval, practicing wheel pose should be able to help you as it releases the tightness of the back and spine.
After a few repetitions of either bridge or full wheel pose variations, it should provide a release of the tensions at those mentioned areas.
Quick Summary of Benefits Of Doing Whee Pose
We’ve already learned that wheel pose is very useful for developing and restoring flexibility of the spine, as well as strength for both back and shoulders, there are many other benefits you should know.
Hopefully, the list would be able to encourage you more to achieve and perfect the wheel pose. There are at least 10 known benefits in doing wheel pose, but perhaps there would be more when it’s perfected due to the combined effects of doing it regularly.
It lengthens, and strengthens the vertebrae resulting to a more flexible spine, which is vital because as we age the spine compresses and curves. This is the reason why old people can’t walk or stand straight. With regular wheel pose practice, it can help maintain good posture even during the senior years.
It helps develop strength for the arms and wrists, shoulders and chest, abdomen, and legs resulting to smooth tone muscles all over the body.
It strengthens the lungs as it opens up the chest allowing more oxygen to enter the rib cage. Hence, wheel pose can help improve respiratory function. It has been reported that performing bridge pose can have therapeutic effect on individuals with asthma.
Another great benefit of wheel pose is it strengthens the nervous system and promotes hormone balance providing the body with optimal health. Furthermore, it has been said that hormonal balance in both men and women resulting in restoration and enhancement of fertility, which is a good thing and when combine with a healthy diet, lifestyle and regular intake of sexual enhancement supplements, it could be a better alternative to Viagra.
Can help achieve a slimming effect as it stretches the oblique aiding of eliminating unwanted fats in this area.
Increases flexibility of the hip as it loosen up the tightness.
Stimulates mentally and physically, which is a good relief for anxiety, stress, and depression as it stimulates the pituitary and thyroid glands when engaging in wheel pose.
Due to its full body effect, wheel pose can help lower the risk of osteoporosis.
Wheel pose harmonizes the body and mind as it triggers all the 7 chakras.
Wheel pose is said to be a good healer for the broken hearted as it is also a heart-opening backbend.
Advanced yoga poses can have tremendous health benefits, but there are also risks. People who have a back injury, irregularities of the heart, carpal tunnel syndrome, high blood pressure, diarrhea, and headaches should practice extreme caution when doing wheel pose.